England were left disappointed in their final Pool B game at the Champions Trophy as they fell to a 4-1 defeat against host nation Argentina. It was a desperately tough game for Danny Kerry’s side as they conceded three times in the final quarter after initially going 1-0 up through Sophie Bray in the seventh minute. The result leaves England bottom of Pool B and means they will most likely face world number one side the Netherlands in their quarter final game on Thursday.
It was a dream start for England against defending champions Argentina as East Grinstead’s Sophie Bray fired a shot home from the top of the circle in the seventh minute. Bray’s club teammate Kirsty Mackay was given the nod ahead of Maddie Hinch in England’s goal and was on fine form to stop the brilliant Luciana Aymar from adding to her goal tally.
After England had dominated the opening quarter the world number three side turned the tables for the second period and equalised through Carla Rebecchi from a penalty corner to bring the score level and send the teams in with everything to play for at half time. The third quarter was a completely even affair with neither team able to break through the other defence. Mackay continued her fine form in England’s goal and Lily Owsley, Joie Leigh and Susannah Townsend piled on the pressure with some great attacking play.
Owsley and Townsend continued to cause trouble in the opening period of the final quarter, but England’s dominance was short lived as Kerry’s side conceded three times in the final nine minutes. Silvina D’elia gave her side a 2-1 lead from a penalty corner after her shot found the stick of Hannah Macloed with an unfortunate deflection over Mackay. Moments later Townsend was shown a yellow card for a foul on Aymar and Argentina seized their opportunity to finish the game off in style in front of a home crowd. Goal scorer D’elia turned provider as firstly Rosario Luchetti scored with a brilliant deflection from a crossed ball and finally Delfina Merino made it 4-1 to the hosts to seal their victory and a top place finish in Pool B.
Georgie Twigg made her 100th England and Great Britain appearance.
Click here to find out squad and caps information and to see the other results at the tournament.
England Head Coach, Danny Kerry: “We started well, but after taking the lead we did lose our shape and allowed Argentina to come back at us. I thought the final score line was harsh and we had some really good chances at the start of the final quarter when the score was still 1-1 to take the lead. But after going a goal down and then losing a player it was game over for us today against an experienced Argentina side who showed great consistency and executed their chances well.”
“I believe we have gained a lot from the tournament so far and it’s been a great learning curve for the less experienced players to compete at this level. We are starting to create genuine depth in the squad and this will stand us in good stead leading into the Olympic Qualifier [World League Semi Final] next summer.”
England Captain Sam Quek: “We started well, we were doing the right things, just at the end it’s about concentration and the last 5 or 10 minutes showed that, but we’re a young side and we’ll have to learn from that in future.”
England’s quarter final match is on Thursday at 1300. All the matches are being shown live on Sky Sports. For the schedule click here.
Support England next summer at the EuroHockey Championships on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. More information and tickets are available from www.eurohockey2015.co.uk